Ecce Ancilla Domini (Behold the handmaiden of the Lord) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1849)
Brief reflections on my own 26 Advents
I first experienced the Anglican liturgy and its repository, the Book of Common Prayer—where I found a home for my rootless soul—on the first Sunday of Advent 1996. Can there be a more perfect story than that of a 43-year-old woman, broken in spirit, whose life changed when she walked through a door that invited “Enter Here in Peace” on the first Sunday of the liturgical year?
But that is an old and oft-told story. [If you’re interested in former, fuller tellings, take a gander at the three previous—and somewhat random—links.] I mention it only because since that first Advent entered the mythos of my life, the season of hope, waiting, and expectation that we enter today has become a spiritual sanctuary for me, always a dependable source of renewal and redirection and recalibration. And reawakening, I might add.
And because writing has been my most reliable way of approaching the Truths in my life, I have been writing about Advent since 1999 or so. For a few years recently, I have taken part in #AdventWord, an online Advent calendar through which people around the globe and in several languages share their daily thoughts and images about words pre-assigned for each day of Advent. In 2017, I even chose as my Advent discipline to write a blog post every day in which I meditated on the assigned word (you can find all these posts by typing “Advent Word” in the search field to the right; but I digress with self-promotion!).
This year, I once again signed up for #AdventWord, but I didn’t approach the assignment with such intentional rigor. However, when I opened the first daily email this morning, I knew I had to take at least the first step of the journey. For today’s word is WALK. Honestly, I had previously pondered how to write about this word and realized that the thousands of steps I took (with photographs) in the last few years might provide some fodder for contemplation. But then the past week happened, and plans have changed drastically—because the life of someone I hold very dear has changed drastically. Continue reading